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A category-based video-analysis of students' activities in an out-of-school hands-on gene technology lesson

[journal article]

Scharfenberg, Franz-Josef; Bogner, Franz X.; Klautke, Siegfried

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-132309

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Abstract Our research objectives focussed on monitoring (i) students' activities during experimental teaching phases in an out-of-school gene technology lab; (ii) potential relationships with variables such as work group size and cognitive achievement. Altogether, we videotaped 20 work groups of A-level 12th graders (N = 67) by continuous recording of their lab-work phases. Subsequent analysis revealed nine categories characterizing the students' most relevant activities. Intra- and inter-observer objectivity as well as reliability scores confirmed the good fit of this categorization. Based on the individual time budgets generated, we extracted four clusters derived from students' prevalent activities. A cross-tabulation of two cluster analysis methods independently used showed a high level of agreement. Clusters were labelled as (i) 'all-rounders' (members of which applied similar portions of time to the main activities), (ii) 'observers' (members' dominating activity focussed on in-group observation of the lab-work), (iii) 'high-experimenters' (members predominantly engaged in specific hands-on activities), and (iv) 'passive students' (members mainly engaged in activities with no experimental relation). Particularly, we found members of clusters 1 and 2 in four-person work groups while members of clusters 3 and 4 were prevalent in three-person groups. During the educational intervention, students of all clusters improved their cognitive achievement on a short-term and a long-term schedule. However, only the 'all-rounders' revealed a high level of persistent (long-term) knowledge with no decrease rate at all. We draw conclusions with respect to work group sizes as well as to organisational aspects of experimental lessons.
Classification Secondary Education Sector Upper Level; Curriculum, Teaching, Didactics
Free Keywords biotechnology education; video analysis; hands-on experiments; out-of-school learning
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 451-467
Journal International Journal of Science Education, 30 (2008) 4
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690701213898
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)